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Rehabilitation and Early Release of Perpetrators of International Crimes: A Case Study of the ICTY and ICTR

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While cited as one of the goals of international sentencing and used as a factor for deciding on early release, rehabilitation of perpetrators of international crimes has thus far been neglected by academia and practitioners. This article presents an analysis of all ICTY and ICTR early release decisions handed down until July 2013, indicating how the tribunals have conceptualised rehabilitation of these ‘enemies of mankind’. After observing that the success rate of rehabilitating international prisoners is very high, we suggest that this may be attributable to (i) a lack of the Presidents’ critical evaluation of the materials upon which he bases his conclusions regarding prisoners’ rehabilitation and (ii) the fact that perpetrators of international crimes are a ‘different kind of perpetrator’. We offer suggestions to re-conceptualise rehabilitation in the context of international crimes and to adjust the enforcement system of international sentences in order to better promote rehabilitation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, VU University Amsterdam, Center for International Criminal, Justice, Amsterdam, the Netherlands


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